Can Cats Eat Salt And Vinegar Chips?

I love chips.

There is something comforting about biting and hearing that crispy sound.

Like music to my ears.

And I’m proud to say that I’ve tried almost all the available flavors that are available at my supermarket.

However, there is just one flavor that I just don’t get.

Salt and vinegar chips.

I can handle the salt but add in the vinegar and it tastes like ‘fart’.

Pardon my french.

My cat, however, is on the opposite end.

He goes into a frenzy when he smells someone eating salt and vinegar chips at home. He will come up to you and not leave until he tries to get a bite.

But can cats eat salt and vinegar chips?

Salt and vinegar chips are not toxic to cats in general but the ingredients used are not very healthy for cats. Furthermore, there might be other flavorings and seasonings that can be toxic to cats if you are not careful.

Let’s take a closer look to understand why such human foods aren’t good for your cat.

What Are The Ingredients Used For Salt And Vinegar Chips?

Here are some of the common ingredients used to make such a flavour:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Maltodextrin
  • Vinegar
  • Citic acid

At one glance, the above ingredients are fine for human consumption. But for a cat, some of these ingredients can cause some issues for your cat.

Vegetable Oil

Chips are mostly deep fried in vegetable oil to make them crunchy in the manufacturing process of potato chips. Cats don’t digest oily food well as nothing in their natural diet is oily.

Too much oil in their diet can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

It is best to stick to boiled, steamed or baked cooking methods for cats.


Maltodextrin is a carbohydrate and is used as a thickener or preservative in food. It is highly processed and resembles white powder.

Although it has no taste, maltodextrin works the same way as sugar.

Too much of this compound is bad for cats as it can lead to feline obesity and diabetes. If your cat is already diabetic, maltodextrin should be avoided to prevent insulin spikes.


Given that potato chips by itself is already salty, a flavor like salt and vinegar can take the amount of sodium to the next level.

Salt can be a double-edged sword for cats.

On one hand, cats need some sodium in their daily diet to be healthy. Sodium is essential for maintaining good health for our pets.

Most cats require about 21-40mg worth of salt daily.

Any amount above this can cause some side effects in cats like drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, incoordination and lethargy.

If your cat has its face stuffed in a bag of salt and vinegar chips without your realizing it, please bring it to the vet for treatment.

A cat can die from ingesting too much salt within 24 hours.

Can Cats Eat Vinegar?

Last I checked with my cat, vinegar is something that he avoids as much as possible. Even though the vinegar in salt and vinegar chips isn’t toxic to cats, many cats won’t find the acidic taste and smell of vinegar appetizing.

Vinegar is mainly used as a homemade deterrent spray for cats. Mix some apple cider vinegar with water in a spray bottle and spray it on areas that you want your cat to avoid.

If your cat licks vinegar off the floor or table, it will be fine.

But I can’t imagine any cat that will find the taste of vinegar appealing.

Besides having absolutely no nutritional value at all to cats, the harshness of vinegar can irritate your cat’s mouth and cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Toxic To Cats?

There are some cat owners who feed their cats apple cider vinegar due to its high mineral and vitamin content.

Here are some reported benefits of giving your cat some ACV.

  • Boost immune system
  • Cure urinary tract infection
  • Repel parasites like fleas
  • Improves skin and fur coat

I have never fed my cat apple cider vinegar before. I’m not a fan of the smell myself and I can’t imagine how strong it smells to cats given their acute sense of smell.

If you do plan to give some ACV to your cat, it might be a good idea to run it by your vet first as it can be quite harsh on a cat’s digestive system.

A small amount is added to the cat’s food or water.

As you can see, apple cider vinegar isn’t toxic to cats but

Citric Acid

Citric acid is a chemical compound that is found in citrus fruits like lemon, lime, oranges, and grapefruit. It is this acid that gives such fruit their sour taste.

If you have ever been tricked into eating those sour candies, you can understand how sour citric acid can be.

Citric acid is one ingredient that your cat should not be eating at all. Anything citric is very toxic to cats and can cause stomach upset and even affect their central nervous system.

There are some pet food manufacturers that use citric acid as a preservative. This is usually found in dry food that is manufactured to last for months without going bad.

The lack of moisture and citric acid on the kibbles prevent bacteria from growing.

Not exactly the best combination since cats need more water and should be avoiding citric acid.

Stop feeding your cat dry food and feed good canned cat food or the raw meat diet.

Can I Feed My Cat Chips?

Unlike dogs that can digest carbohydrates, cats would have a harder time digesting chips or potato chips. That being said, you still need to be careful when feeding your dog snacks like Sunchips which have flavors that aren’t healthy for your pet.

There is no need for cat owners to pet their feline pets such a snack. If your cat does like the occasional potato chip, get those that are unsalted and without any flavors.

A safer alternative would be to bake your own potato chips for your cat without any salt or seasoning.

Definitely, no salty chips for cats to be safe. The same rules apply if you think feeding your cat McDonald’s french fries is fine.

Do note that a cat’s mouth is pretty small so make your chip sizes small or it might hurt its mouth when eating the chip.

Can Cats Eat Ritz Crackers?

Ritz crackers are pretty salty and as mentioned earlier, too much salt in a cat’s diet is unhealthy for them. Furthermore, ritz crackers contain a large number of preservatives and flavoring that can be bad for cats.

It is best to not feed your cat biscuits of any type unless it is made especially for cats.


Potato chips by themselves aren’t exactly bad for cats. If you strip it down to its base ingredient, it basically is a potato that is baked or fried.

What makes potato chips unhealthy for cats is when there are a number of flavoring and preservatives present like salt and vinegar chips.

The combination of excess salt and a harsh ingredient like vinegar can be toxic to cats. I doubt cats will find the taste and smell palatable as well.

Keep our processed food away from cats as their bodies are not equipped to break down or handle many of the ingredients.